Music City Food + Wine Festival
announces their lineup and pricing, I hear a little grumbling about the cost of the event and questions about "why should I pay this much to eat food from chefs I can visit any time I want?" My response has always been that I'm pretty sure that attendance is still voluntary, and plenty of people somehow manage to have an extremely good time at the festival.
But less facetiously, I like to remind people that a lot of times these festivals are aimed at visitors at least as much as at locals. That's part of the reason why the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.
is such an ardent supporter of the event. Culinary tourism is a real thing, and festivals are a great way to get out-of-towners to visit Music City during the offseason. (If such a thing still exists in an "it city.")
But it's all good; if you don't want to got to MCFWF, I've got an alternative for you that might just reinforce my point. The exact same weekend, another up-an-coming Southern culinary community is holding their big food festival. In fact, it's the 10th edition of Euphoria
in Greenville, S.C., an easy half-day drive from Nashville. For a town of their size, the organizers have put together an impressive roster of culinary talent for their upcoming festival, although Nashville chefs are pretty much occupied that weekend.
Even without Nashville chef participation, Euphoria has plenty of talent cooking at demos, special events and tasting tents throughout the weekend of Sept. 17-20. National luminaries like Art Smith, David Guas, Frank Lee, John Currence, John Fleer, Katie Button, Steven Satterfield and Annie Pettry have all chosen to spend their time in Greenville to share their wares with festival attendees, so that's a pretty impressive roster even before you augment the list with lots of local chefs as well.